Thursday, 12 October 2017

top of the pops thursday: wham!, alphaville, patrice rushen, bucks fizz

last week my mother and i did what we do best: listen to 80s music and drink. we discovered two showings of top of the pops from its heyday, in 1982 and 1984 respectively. but before we get into that: a life update.

my Existential Crisis is still in full swing; after a recent trip to the hairdressers and a few Bad Experiences with pushy freelance writers who just wouldn't take no for an answer and were seriously rude to my friend and i, it dawned on me that perhaps a make-up course at my local college would be a better path to take. i've got Really Into Make-Up in the last year or two, and i take great pleasure in doing my own and other people's, the odd time i've been asked. it seems like the perfect middle ground as the last few months i've been questioning if i want to be stuck in an office all day, even if i'm getting to write about fashion and/or music. i have a seriously short attention span, so being a make-up artist would allow me to work in different environments while still giving me a creative outlet. the only downside is the course costs around £900 for the year, and i'm definitely not in a position to spend so much. i'm sure my parents wouldn't be too thrilled with my new Life Plan either, but i've tried to think about it realistically, and if i saved up, putting my wages into a separate account so as not to spend them all (i blew £40 on beauty bay just the other night), i could theoretically start the course next september. this weekend i plan on telling them all of this, and hopefully their reaction will be positive as i need an incentive to get the hell out of gap. 

i still love writing though, and will continue to try and contribute to any websites that will take me on. i discovered lucy moon's blog the other night and have binge-read all her posts, which in turn finally gave me the motivation to write one of my own. speaking of youtube, one of my favourite people dan howell uploaded a video talking about his struggles with depression which i've found seriously helpful as it's reassured me that i'm not the only one dealing with this, and it is possible to survive this and come out the other side. 

so that brings us up to speed with everything happening in my life right now, and we can go back in time to discuss some of the excellent performances top of the pops had to offer the other night. 

wham! - young guns (1982)



already one of my favourite songs, made better by the excellent choreography. who wouldn't want to perform a synchronised dance routine with george michael to an audience of millions?  

patrice rushen - forget me nots (1982)



a sorely underrated disco track that i really hadn't paid much attention to until i saw it in this programme. it might not pack as much punch as this, but it's still an excellent song, so good in fact that george michael himself sampled it in his 1996 hit fastlovepatrice rushen also co-wrote the song! - which i've been obsessed with since i heard it on the radio a few weeks ago. we also need to talk about the Looks in this video; the sparkly pink dress is my dream outfit, and i'm also here for the yellow suit, metallic gold number and the sheer pink dress that reminds me of this john galliano collection. looks like some things never go out of style. 

JUNIOR - mama used to say (1982)


another disco-inspired song i'd never heard before that made me sit up and take note. i instantly fell in love with the synth driven sound, but it has to be said his voice isn't the best. i'll forgive him though, as i've had this on repeat more times than i'd care to admit. 

bucks fizz - talking in your sleep (1984)



most people probably know bucks fizz for their 1981, eurovision winning hit making your mind up, and not much else. i was the same until i heard this song, a cover of the romantics that appeared on their 1984 album, i hear talk. i watched open-mouthed for a few seconds before rushing to write down the name of the track, captivated by its slightly rockier sound, unusual for the usually pop orientated group. the accompanying album received mixed reviews, but i plan to listen to it later and hopefully won't be disappointed. 

alphaville - big in japan (1984) 


i'd never heard of this band and presumed that like so many other acts popular in the 80s, they were a One Hit Wonder. however, a quick check of their wikipedia page shows the german synth-pop group are still together performing and recording music; their latest album came out this year. big in japan was the only song to make it into the UK chart, but i'm glad it did because it encapsulates everything i love about 80s music; ridiculously over the top outfits - lead singer marian gold's outfit looks like something matty healy would wear today - stupidly catchy lyrics and of course that electronic sound that i've loved ever since i can remember. 

feels like heaven - fiction factory (1984)



though not technically part of the BBC programme we watched, i saw this in my recommended videos on youtube and had to include it as it's one of my favourite songs. hailing from scotland, the new wave group are a true one hit wonder, known only for this song. their two studio albums performed poorly, but at least they'll always have this execellent song, with its dramatic chorus and bridge. 

perhaps its the simple arrangement of these songs that renders them timeless; something that still sounds so new, and i know i won't tire of them any time soon. 

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